In general, EPA does not have jurisdiction over most products, nor does the Agency endorse specific products. Certain types of products, however, have content and usage guidelines imposed upon them under various authorities. For example, pesticides are strictly regulated by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Another example is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees distribution, labeling, and market approval for products intended for human consumption (e.g., food, water, and pharmaceuticals) .
As previously mentioned, however, most products, such as car cleaning products, are not regulated or endorsed by EPA. However, EPA has developed the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program to assist executive agencies in purchasing environmentally-friendly products. The EPP Program provides guidelines and serves as a clearinghouse of information and tools to facilitate Executive agencies to purchase environmentally preferable products and services. EPP's audience is not limited to the Federal government, however. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state & local government agencies have also found to the program to be of interest and value. EPA has created a database, searchable by product type, that allows users to access studies, opinions, and information on a myriad of "environmentally preferable" products. For more information about EPP, please contact the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC) at (202) 260-1023, or visit the following URL: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/
In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in cooperation with the EPA, has developed guidelines for advertisers to ensure that their environmental advertising and labeling claims (such as "environmentally preferable") comply with the law and do not mislead the consumer. Although the FTC will not have specific product information, you may be able to investigate the methodology behind green advertising claims. For more information, please visit the following URL: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.htm
For more information about a specific product, we recommend directly contacting the manufacturer. Ideally the manufacturer will be able to provide you with detailed information regarding the use of their product, and may be able to offer information/research about environmental benefits. The manufacturer will be the most informed regarding their products' limitations and qualities. We also recommend contacting various industry trade associations, which may have information about or resources to devote to assessing environmentally-friendly products.
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